• By: Jennifer Hartley

GCTC’s 40 Seasons Strong and Just Getting Stronger…

photo credit: GCTC/Andrew Alexander
As  the GCTC celebrates its 40th season, it once again proves it is on the cutting edge of thought-provoking, hard-hitting, fantastic Canadian theatre.  The GCTC chose a whopper of a play to open its 2014-2015 season, The Boy in the Moon, by Emil Sher.

Based on the book/memoirs of Ian Brown on raising a child with severe physical and cognitive impairments, the play delves into the pressures that families with a special-needs child face.

Parents Ian and Joanna share their feelings, frustrations, joys and experiences on raising Walker, who has a rare genetic condition that requires 24/7 care.  They open up on the frustrations on dealing with the medical community, the pressures on their marriage, on their daughter, on life in general.

You get a taste of what it is like to live with long-term sleep deprivation from having to care for a high-needs child who requires assistance with every task in life.  You get a feel for what it is like to have your life completely overrun by the basic necessities of another human being whose complete dependence is permanent and something that will not be outgrown with age.

While you get a sense of the difficulties and challenges there is also the parents’  tenderness, appreciation, understanding and unconditional love for their son Walker.

Sher’s adaptation is poignant, emotionally-draining and unbelievably moving from those perspectives alone.  But The Boy in the Moon also explores the opportunity for spiritual growth from dealing with special-needs people.  The play respectfully and gracefully shows how to see the world through their unique perspective, to appreciate the little things and the general magnificence of life in all its manifestations.

This play is deeply touching even if you don’t have a child with special challenges and if you do, it is all the more so.  No matter your situation, this short 85-minute emotional powerhouse can’t be missed.